100 euro: Ski Flying World Championships

Series: Slovenia: Gold 100 euro coins

100 euro Ski Flying World Championships  - 2010 - Series: Gold 100 euro coins - Slovenia

The world ski flying championships are held every two years. The first were held in 1972, at Planica. The 21st championships will again be held at Planica, its sixth time hosting. This is far from unusual, as there are only five ski flying hills in the world, of which Planica is the largest.

Planica is a glacial valley in the north-west of the Julian Alps, below the peaks of Ponce. It is famed for its ski jumps, and is very much the cradle of ski jumping and ski flying. The annual world cup meets are the largest Slovenian sporting event in the valley of ski jumping.

The history of ski jumping in Slovenia officially begins with the first championships held in Bohinj in 1920, but by 1930 Planica had already gained its first ski jump. In 1934 Stanko Bloudek built one of the largest ski jumps seen at that time, and in 1936 it witnessed the first person in history to jump more than 100 metres. The ski jump of brothers Janez and Vlado Gorišek was built at Planica in 1969, and became the site of numerous world records. The magic barrier of 200 metres was passed in 1994 by a Finn, Toni Nieminen. The current world record is 239 metres, which was set in 2005 by Norwegian ski jumper Bjorn Einar Romoren. The Slovenian record is 229 metres, held by Robert Kranjec.

With its famous events and world records Planica has helped to build the reputation of sport in Slovenia, and Slovenia’s profile in the rest of the world. This was one of the reasons that Slovenia has decided to issue collector coins to commemorate the 21st world ski flying championships. The obverse of the coins features a stylised take-off ramp, which transforms into a linear depiction of lifting winds, while the motif is repeated on the reverse, with the body of a ski flier soaring above it.